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Showing posts from February, 2018

Classic TV: All Creatures Great and Small

Based on the best-selling books by James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small was one of the BBC's most popular drama series of the late 1970s and 1980s, and helped to set the format of the Sunday night drama on British TV.

The Trap (1966)

The Trap is set in the wilds of British Columbia in the late 19th century. A French-Canadian fur trapper, Jean La Bete (Oliver Reed), arrives at a trading post with his latest wares, just as a wife auction is finishing. Yes that's right, a wife auction. (They do still have those in Canada, right?) A group of women have arrived, petty criminals and prostitutes, who have been freed from jail by horny lonely frontiersmen, on condition that they marry their benefactors.

One woman's prospective husband has died and so she is auctioned off to the highest bidder. Jean tries to bid but is too late. Later, after a night of drinking, he arrives at the home of the owner of the trading post (Rex Sevenoaks), demanding the money he owes him. The trader is in financial trouble, heavily in debt, and Jean's appearance makes things worse. He had been told that Jean was dead, but now he has to find money to pay this debt too.

Henry V (1944)

Laurence Olivier's 1944 film Henry V is based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name, one of several historical dramas Shakespeare wrote about British monarchs. The playtells the story of a young English king who puts aside his misspent youth and embarks on a quest to recapture lands in France. This campaign culminates in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, when an English army defeated a numerically superior French force, with the aid of the English mastery of the longbow.